This Year Do Not Include the following:
Toothpaste, candy, chocolate or food, seeds, used or damaged items, war-related items such as toy guns, knives, or military figures; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers; and no aerosol cans.
Don’t forget to include A Personal Note: You may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself, your family, or group. If you include your name and an address, the child may be able to write back.
All Ages – Start with a WOW item - a central item that a child will cherish. Start with a medium to large item that will capture the child’s attention the instant he or she opens the box.
WOW Ideas include: Soccer ball with manual pump; stuffed animal; Toys such as puppets (finger or otherwise), dolls, tennis ball; small Musical instrument (harmonica, woodwind recorder), an outfit to wear; shoes; a backpack.
Then fill up that box with any of these suggested items:
Toys: Puzzles; foam ball; kickball (make sure to include a manual air pump); costume items to play dress-up, such as crowns and costume jewelry; yo-yo; small Frisbee; small kite; Plastic dinosaurs, puppets (finger or otherwise), trucks, boats, dolls (baby, Barbie, etc.), Slinky, Interactive toys that include push buttons, lights, and noise (include extra batteries); Etch-A-Sketch; Hacky Sack; marbles; kaleidoscope; baseball and mitt.
School Supplies/Crafts and Accessories: pens, pencils and small manual pencil sharpeners, colored pencils, pencil case, crayons, markers, notebooks, paper, solar calculators, coloring pads/books; picture books, glue sticks (no liquid glue); play dough (consider adding plastic cookie cutters as non-sharp utensils the child can use with the playdough); watercolor set (finger paint palette/crayons/markers (non-liquid containers), paint brushes, canvas or paper); stickers; skipping rope/jump rope; small adhesive tape; puzzles; binoculars; make-it-yourself craft items or kit; chalkboard and chalk; tool set; building blocks; tote bag/purse; sewing kit, fabric (1-2 yards) and ribbon; laminated decorative pictures with looped ribbon attached as a picture hanger; gardening kit with gloves and trowel hand tool (do not include gardening seeds); playing cards; fishing kit; brightly colored rope or twine; magnets.
Personal Care Items: toothbrushes, bar soap, combs/hairbrush, washcloths, Adhesive bandages (Colorful ones can help a child be more willing to wear a bandage. Do not include liquid antibiotic ointment.), Reusable plastic containers: cup, water bottle, plate, bowl, blunt-edged utensils (Consider filling an empty container with non-liquid items such as hair bows, bracelets, sunglasses, or washcloths to maximize the space.), Blanket, Non-liquid lip balm, Flashlight (solar-powered or hand-crank; if battery operated, be sure to include extra batteries of the type needed), Compact mirror; nail clipper and file; stick deodorant; washable/reusable cloth menstrual pads.
Clothing and Accessories: Shirts and pants, underwear, shoes and socks, hats/scarf/mittens, loose-fitting sundress, flip-flops, pants, sunglasses, hair clips, jewelry, watches (wrist or otherwise), flashlights (with extra batteries), decorative hat; hair bows; tote bag/purse; bead jewelry/bead kit; bandana.
Crafts: Make your own items such as hair bows, finger puppets, and friendship bracelets.